Okay, so this is a recipe I've made for a few years now. It's just one of those things I think everyone should have in their freezer because you never know when you're gonna need some chicken soup. Think about it, what if YOU get sick. Are you really gonna feel like cooking up some? And for me, those canned soups just don't hit the spot the way this does. Nothing spells comfort like a good hearty bowl of chicken (noodle) soup, especially when you're under the weather.
1 (3lb) whole chicken
6 stalks celery, halved
1 large onion halved
6 carrots, peeled and halved
water to cover
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. parsley
3 cloves garlic peeled, whole
2 potatoes peeled and cubed (optional)
2 cups egg noodles cooked according to package directions (optional)
1. So first you want to prep the veggies and rinse the chicken. Remove the innards if there are any inside.
2. Place chicken in a large stock pot with all carrots, celery, onion, thyme, rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, garlic and salt and pepper. (Be generous with the salt, because the broth is bland without seasoning. Fill with water.
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover but leave the lid cracked to vent a little.
6. Remove chicken and let cool enough to handle.
7. Spoon out all the veggies. Chop celery and carrots and half of the onion (unless you love that much onion, you can keep all of it.)
8. Put the veggies back into the broth and bring to a boil again. (If you are using potatoes then add them with the veggies. I don't normally do potatoes AND noodles, too much starchy foods, but you can decide if you want both.)
9. Remove chicken from the bone and shred or break apart by hand. You may also chop with a knife if you prefer.
10. Add chicken back to broth (cook until potatoes are done). Taste the broth and adjust seasonings. (If it needs more salt and pepper, now's the time...one common mistake is not tasting the food to make sure it's seasoned right.) Add noodles into each bowl before you ladle in the soup. If you add the noodle to the soup, then they will absorb a lot of the liquid and will become mushy and the soup will be a little more dry.
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Place a handful of cooked egg noodles in the bottom of plastic cups (if desired). Ladle the cooled soup into the plastic cups. Freeze immediately. Once frozen, cut the cup away from the soup and store in gallon freezer bags.